Informed, compassionate and discreet elder law and estate solutions
The Charles Law Offices
Largo Office Wells Fargo Building
801 West Bay Drive, Suite 518
Largo, FL 33770
Phone: 727-683-1483
Toll Free: 866-499-3322
Clearwater Office Hodusa Towers
28870 U.S. Highway 19 North,
Suite 300
Clearwater, FL 33761
St. Petersburg Office Crossroads Office Center
1700 66th St. N.,
Suite 209
St. Petersburg, FL 33710

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Trust Attorney Protecting Your Assets

With offices in Clearwater, Largo and St. Petersburg to serve all your financial trust needs

Many people choose to place assets in trust for various reasons. Depending on the type, a trust can shield your assets from creditors, guard against fraudulent transactions and theft and avoid probate and other estate costs. All told, there are 37 different kinds of trusts in Florida. Some of the more common types of trusts are discussed below.

At The Charles Law Offices, we can help you choose among all these options and find the right trust for you and your unique financial needs. It all begins when you come in to one of our three office locations for your free case evaluation, because only by listening to you can we hope to design the best trust for your family.

What is a living trust?

A trust lawyer can help you set up a revocable living trust (RLT). Below are some guidelines for the process:

  • A grantor is a person who creates a trust.
  • The grantor names a trustee, who manages the assets in the trust for use by a beneficiary. Often, the initial trustee and grantor are the same person.
  • If the grantor properly funds the trust by transferring assets into it before death, these assets are generally immune from the probate process. Since succession of title has already been determined, there is no reason for that asset to go through probate.
  • A revocable living trust may be revoked or modified at any time, unless you are incapacitated, and may contain other sub-trusts in addition to the primary trust.

In contrast to a living trust, a testamentary trust is usually part of a will and only becomes effective when the testator dies.

What is a beneficiary trust?

A beneficiary trust is frequently set up for minors who are not yet legally able to manage the family’s assets. A separate shares trust allows the grantor to tailor the terms of the trust to each beneficiary’s specific needs, and a spendthrift clause, or spendthrift trust, can prevent a beneficiary from spending too much of the assets at once.

What are some other common kinds of trusts?

There are a number of other estate planning options available to grantors under Florida law, including:

  • A generation-skipping trust, or grandchildren’s trust, names the settlor’s grandchildren as the beneficiaries so the children can avoid paying inheritance taxes.
  • A special needs trust can allow a beneficiary to remain eligible for government programs, such as SSI and Medicaid, while enjoying the benefits of the family’s assets.
  • Some trusts intended mainly for tax planning include the credit shelter trust, which transfers assets from a surviving spouse to the children, a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT), which increases the amount of tax-free gifts by using an annuity, and the Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT), which protects life insurance proceeds from taxation.

If the trust becomes contested, the attorneys at The Charles Law Offices can work to make sure that everyone’s interests are protected.

Work with a St. Petersburg attorney who provides compassion for today and solutions for tomorrow

Susan Charles makes it a point to be available to her clients and to always be prepared to answer any questions. Contact The Charles Law Offices at 727-683-1483 or online to schedule your free consultation. All of our offices provide plenty of free parking.

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